St. Bonaventure University:
A Gulag of
Militaristic, Sexual &
I enjoy a daily morning routine which I have followed for more than two years and hope to hold forever. It is always being interrupted by one event or another, but never broken long enough to make me lose it or forget it.
I awake at 5:45 a.m. and listen to the radio until six when I sit up and meditate for twenty minutes. Up to the time that it is eight o’clock I perform a series of exercises including calisthenics, jogging in place, and light weight-lifting. After these ritualistic performances I head for the shower continuing to think about ideas for living, for writing, for studying, for whatever.
At times, the shower conjures many intense feelings: they can be very frightening or euphoric in construct. I have self-analyzed these sentiments through some psychoanalytic systems of thought, and I know why they come about—even, when they will happen. The reasons are not crucial to this writing. My subjective responses spring out of the mucky imprints of my life which lie fixed below my consciousness and, as the years pass, occasionally melt away wholly involuntarily. Nonetheless, there are many of them simmering, and they do not disappear as quickly as I would wish. They are down there, and every so often signal to me—through bodily tremors and nervous tension—their desire to find release in a definition of their reality. The screams for escape tell me I must begin to assort my notions, because if I do not attend to these hidden predilections which may not pass away with time, I will suffer painful consequences for my neglect. These psychic reactions demand immediate attention.
The action or process of stating, of describing, of explaining, or making definite and clear is best done for me when I take pen in hand and write. I do not know why. And I am not always prompted to write when I am psychically destroyed of tranquillity or composure, but when I do write about what I am cajoled emotionally to create, I feel a sense of well-being for both confronting what I could not have faced before, and for explicating something which others may enjoy braving with me and which they may find relief in as much as I do.
On 7 June 1981—a balmy, cloudy Sunday morning in Caracas, Venezuela—I emerged from the shower with a bevy of horrifying reminiscences of the years I spent in a predominantly men’s Roman Catholic university (St. Bonaventure University) in upstate New York. Excitedly, I mulled over these bits of impressions knowing only too well that they would eventually find their way to these pages expressed in an interpretative literary composition dealing exclusively with my limited, personal point of view. For years I had had darts of thoughts about a very terrible experience, but on this tropical June morning all became “co-ordinated” for me. The way to catharsis had been set in motion, and when I went out to have coffee and mineral water in a local snack bar, I fidgeted and shook with anxiety about my recently-discovered repressed ideas—now discharging and soon to be defined. The urge to commit them to paper for myself and my audience gave me a confident, good feeling. After many years I was finally going to react against and defy the terrors of buried bad memories. From this act I would become stronger and more satisfied. My being would be cleansed further. I would go beyond, and in doing so, come closer to the core of my existence. My act of purifying would enfold, and I would present it as a gift to my listeners.
A purgation of the emotions that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension is not easy to achieve. Firstly, it involves work and keen, unrelenting dissection of the passions. But this effort is not as difficult as is the struggle to keep a mental balance during the unburdening. The strength of the checked passions—once they are ready to let loose—plays havoc with good sense and clear thought, and its power demands excruciating self-discipline on the part of the self-analyst. The hidden turmoil must be liberated gradually; it cannot burst forth as it wants to. The battle drains one. It leaves the emotions rent of any might. I remember when I ousted the appalling mental souvenirs of the death of a comrade killed in Vietnam, I had to stop every fifteen or twenty minutes in between the paragraphs I had written about him. The ordeal was so exacting for me, I napped to gain my verve back and only then was I recharged and ready to continue. Fortunately, the rewards outweigh the rigors and throes. A sense of well-being and courage forever remain to delight and fulfil once this torturing road has been tramped to emancipation.
The undercurrents of pain which have seethed below my good sense until now, far exceed the pleasant memories I took away with me from St. Bonaventure University. It cannot be said that there were no real happy recollections. But those are not what occupy my mind. The wretchednesses of my psyche admit little of what was good in that institution. Suffice it to say that most things were bad for me there.
The alarming glimpses at these unfortunate mental records did not, until now, appear in any organized pattern—they were disjointed and they were spontaneous. They repeated themselves intermittently, and throughout their lifetimes, there were lapses of long months when they did not surface to vex me. I have collected these revolting memories for almost twenty years, and they fall into three general categories: militaristic indoctrination, sexual indoctrination and philosophical indoctrination. I attest that the four years at St. Bonaventure University was a time lost in the worst of prisons: the state of confinement where the mind is worked over to be bent into shape to conform to an ideology. My four years were dissipated in a “gulag” of emotional and mental restraint, and the cold winds and blinding snows which blew down from Canada into the western New York State “snow belt” to chill living beings at the foothills of the Alleghany mountains, frosted likewise my heart’s desire to love and my mind’s longing to ripen in knowledge. The panic which soars today when I think of years wasted under the grips of a negative constraint more powerful than I was, rips bitterly at my temper. I console myself with the thought that I had both the courage and the chance to disentangle my very being from such terrifying experiences without losing my zest for life and my mental stability, which before my “escape,” was often bulldozed within the thought and emotionally controlled environs of St. Bonaventure University.
Now to begin. What is coming is the elimination of that which has lain dormant in my subconsciousness for many years. It is poison to me and must be spewed out. I proceed by reflecting on the four years (1962-66) I was a member of the St. Bonaventure University student body. I invite you, my dear reader, to come along with me to share in my contest to elicit the truth for myself and others.
About military indoctrination, I have the following mental images:
A. I am in Military Science class (201), and the sequent quotation from Clausewitz’s On War is being championed by a United States Army major not to defend the idea of military preparedness, but to tout the glory of battle: “War…is a wonderful trinity, composed of the play of probabilities and chance which make it a free activity of the soul, and of its subordinate nature as a political instrument, in which respect it belongs to the province of Reason….” Intellectually, I am stunned by these words. The thoughts sink deep and penetrate my character. My awe is profound. I am a believer.
B. It is the season of Spring and Thursday afternoon. The fifth day of the week is both “steak night” in the dining hall and drill day for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. I am the S-2 (intelligence officer) for the corps, and I have just passed two hours sucking in the fragrances of freshly cut grass and blossoming flowers momentarily made groggy by the stench of puffs of gun powder smoke floating away from a battery of six 105mm howitzers. Blasts from the cannons saluted the presentation of the Star-Spangled Banner. The schedule of military activities has been boring and ordinary, but both our green uniforms—proudly worn to impress the crowds and ourselves—and the beautiful mountain backdrop on the edge of the drill field/football field, harmonize to make the effort a worthwhile occasion. As I return to my dormitory unloosening my black tie and unbuttoning my mustard-colored shirt, there are screams and taunts from voices within the halls of ivory: “R.O.T.C. sucks!!! Fuck the Army!!! Eat shit, faggots!!!” I am angered. Those irresponsible, immature creeps! What do they know of Clausewitz? What do they know about defending their country? Who will it be who goes to the battlefields to fight and protect these ingrates? Who will it be who assumes the responsibilities they refuse to accept? I am of a cause more important and more potent than they are. I will survive, and those pathetic creatures will die by the wayside ambushed by weakness and disloyalty. I lock my heels and brace my body against this unenthusiastic attitude. I am a soldier.
C. It is time for the military ball and we are snuggling up to a United States Army lieutenant-colonel who is tipsy after his fifth martini. Vietnam is a reality which haunts all of us wearing the green.
“Sir, why are we in Vietnam?”
“To defend innocent peasants against the perils of communism, dummy!” (“Cardinal, is there a devil? Of course, there is a devil, dummy! And where is the devil, Cardinal? Where is the devil! Why the devil is in Hell, that’s where he is!”) “It is a noble venture, and it is one which will reap rewards for the American people. We are determined to stop those fucking commies at their own doorstep. We will not be harassed. We will not cater to the dictates of ideologues possessed with a propensity to cause disruption. Democracy is the best mother-fucking system, boy, and don’t you ever forget that!”
“And, sir, what if you are sent to Vietnam?”
“Son, I will be in Vietnam in less than six months. And I will fight for my country. I will defend the principles of democracy, and the God-given right of all men to live in freedom and peace.”
I wished for my turn to go to Vietnam. I wished for my turn to fight against the perils of communism. I wished for my turn to protect innocent Asiatic peasants. I wished for my turn to help secure freedom and peace for all individuals.
D. I am receiving a lecture from a full-bird colonel who is a veteran of two Northamerican wars. His uniform is weighted with ribbons and decorations and commendations. He is an “old-timer.” What is fascinating about this high-ranking officer is that he is a puny man—smaller even than my own medium-built frame. He is bald, and he chain smokes Camel cigarettes at an astounding rate.
He is telling us about an experience in World War II combat when he—as an artillery forward observer—called direct fire on his own position to ward off a flood of attacking German infantrymen who had penetrated his lines. The colonel is pallid with seriousness. I am glued to his nervous being which appears to want to explode at any moment, but is spared this disintegration by the artificial opening and closing of a mental safety valve: the rough inhaling and exhaling of his unfiltered cigarettes. Later, when I will come to know this man better, I will watch him gulp tremendous swigs of cognac to calm his ragged World War II and Korean War nerves.
This chicken colonel is living taut. Is it that his shell-shocked body hardens from the memories of exploding artillery rounds? Those same sounds I myself will come to know in less than two years?
Now to the realities…
A1. Clausewitz’s ideas about the nature of war have been refuted time and time again. They are famous for their contrarieties, and they have received enough negative interpretation to keep them from having potent influence except among die-hard military fanatics who are on the verge of extinction—very slowly, but very surely. I wish to make some personal observations about the “philosopher of war” with reference to his belief in the reasonableness of war and my own combat experiences in Vietnam.
This Prussian logician of bloodshed belongs, fortunately, to another age where his respect for national mythologies was able to play ruin with historical forces, and his haphazard aptitude to idealize any cause, was free to take firm root among those whose lives were beset by troublesome boredom and susceptible to his dogmatism. Clausewitz, as effective as he was in the use of war speech, spoke with a flippancy—a forked tongue, if you will—that served only too well his middle-class ambitions to hop up to those noble birthrights he so embarrassingly lacked. And so, with pen in hand—it has been said to be more powerful than the sword—Clausewitz devised a quasi-philosophical nomenclature to outwit and dominate those of the snobbish military establishment who had made his military pretentiousness at first so trying and frustrating. And from this intellectual recklessness, we obtain notions that war is a mathematical principle, a complicated piece of machinery, a profound technique!
I knew men in Vietnam (1967-68) who valued his concepts. They understood war to be the way he envisioned it—the result being uncannily unreal. I have seen majors and colonels and generals—in freshly-starched fatigues, sipping whiskies, and comfortable in well-fortified protected areas—pulling out red pins and white pins and blue pins which moved hundreds and then thousands of individuals into situations war philosophers themselves would have preferred to avoid. And they did this, naturally, with the consent of a president, senators, House Ways and Means Committee members, journalists, priests, actors and stockbrokers. They did this also with a vengeance for what they themselves had to endure as young buck soldiers pissing and moaning in the rice paddies of another age where they too were up to their necks in roily waters with leeches sucking on their scrotums.
War belongs to the province of reason? Whose reason? Is reason an attack near the Cambodian border where a United States Army infantry company, under “attack” by its own artillery, has gone so berserk one grunt is on the ground in the fetal position—his rifle discarded—saying the rosary? Is reason the death of thirty men who, attacking a hill, are hit by their own air force’s 750-pound bomb? Is reason fighting for all this when within a man’s army there exists a weapon which might end—in a matter of seconds—all conflict for the soldier and the zealots who direct him? (Oh! Then it is unreasonable to have atomic weaponry, you ask?) I found little reason in war, and what was requisite ground of explanation of a logical defence of it served not those in combat, but those who would benefit from this play of probabilities and chance by being as far away from it as they and William F. Buckley, Jr, Gore Vidal, Al Gore, Noam Chomsky, William Clinton, et cetera, themselves could be!
I conclude that Clausewitz and his ilk would better serve mankind by sublimating their unnatural and perverse instincts to dominate and rule to the playing of chess or Monopoly. These warped characters need to divert their rudimentary forms and thwarted desires to another destination: healthy for them and all men and women. They need to know what motivates them. They need to know why they make the most formidable of cowards, for it is these same individuals—so convinced of the reasonableness of battle tactics and campaign charts and standard operating procedures and planning specialties (artistic war experts!)—who fall apart the easiest during the duress of battle. When their by-the-book rules and regulations fail to serve not only the realities of battle and war, but the actualities of life, do they then sink into the quagmires of frustration and despair which for so long they have fought to sidestep through their fastidiousness and resolute spirits.
B1. A uniform is an anomaly. Whether it is the pompous shield of a five-star general, or the blue jeans/sweat shirt outfit of a university student, something which is in consonance with a higher order offers a neither true nor right strength and belongingness especially to those in search of identity and devoid of a feeling of inner stability. Frequently short of the sentience of an interior steadfastness when I attended St. Bonaventure University, I wore my military garments, which presented an unvarying appearance of surface, pattern or color, seeking a proper situation which I had felt the want of. In varying degrees, my military garb made me consistent in conduct or opinion, and offered me the security and comfort of the United States Army. I wore my greens proudly as a cadet in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at St. Bonaventure University and later as a second then first lieutenant in the real (regular) army. (Paradoxically, a uniform is a potentially dangerous instrument. It commands “respect,” automatic duteousness. And it serves propagandistic causes very well. If one knows not what doctrines or causes surround the appeal of the uniform, the uniform may serve to hoodwink and confuse. Adolf Hitler, a dandy dresser in his pre-war activities, wore a simple—emperor’s uniform, so to speak—when he lead Germany along the path of his perverted destructiveness.)
My uniform attracted women, gave me a raison d’etre, and helped me surface above the childishness of basketball euphoria, drunkenness (illicit drugs were not on the scene as yet), and Playboy masturbatory sojourns in the lavatory of Devereux Hall.
It was exhilarating to polish brass with Brasso, and spend hours spit-shining my shoes and boots until not just the tips but the whole outer coverings of my feet glistened with the caked layers of black polish which had seeped into the pores of rough leather to assume a glabrous, glass-like finish. Even the visor of my officer’s cap was spit-shined! My gig line (the belt buckle aligned with the fold over the trouser’s zipper)and the placement of my officer brass insignia were STRAC (Stategic Air Command, but also jargonish for “in perfect order”). Ready for inspection. On line. Combat serviceable. Perfect. I was the best of adherents: loyal, believing, proud, sensitive, and bored with life and St. Bonaventure University.
I needed to belong. I needed my identity. I needed to be devoted to something. I needed to cause, to effectuate. The uniform of the United States Army temporarily satisfied this existential craving. I needed to show my mother and father, my sister, my brothers, my girlfriend, my neighbors, my society, my country, my world purview…MYSELF!!! My uniform helped me participate in a cause beyond the simplicity of my own indifference and loneliness. It helped me cover myself with a fixture designed to protect not only my being, but the essences of the fraternity of individuals in this world who required my supervision and leadership and support when I played the role of officer.
In Vietnam, in the field, our fatigues were exchanged and burnt after seven to ten days’ use. The armpits were stained with patches of white—salt tablets having sweated on through the santeen material to blotch the hollows under our arms. Boots were never shined, there was no brass to polish, we wore scratched and dented steel helmets, and most of the time we were unshaven and dirty—stinkingly soiled.
Above and beyond the illusive look of the uniform—in combat or out of it—I had incorporated the ideals of a conduct which I would defend in razzle-dazzle regalia or in putrid-smelling military work clothes. I took seriously my pledge to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and it was always my intention to try to help innocent people fight against the horrors of centralized control by an autocratic authority. I learned quickly in Vietnam that I had been suckered into another form of totalitarianism, and when I left Camh Ranh Bay and Vietnam never to return once more, I hoped that I would not have to wear my uniform again, and I was ashamed that I had ever put it on.
C1. After the military ball, I searched exhaustively to meet a United States Army officer who expressed verbally ideals which would “defend the principles of democracy, and the God-given right of all men (and women?) to live in freedom and peace.” And if actions speak louder than words, I never saw an all-out effort to help people in Vietnam, but I did see actions to abuse them and to exploit them. I witnessed violations of the Geneva Convention and I witnessed illegal liberties—taken under the pretext of war condition red—to commit inhuman, immoral and insane deeds. And to point further to this ridiculousness, I saw Roman Catholic chaplains bless B-52 bombers!
Most officers I encountered in Vietnam were interested in their promotion opportunities, their next duty station, their whisky and beer, their pay checks, and their futile efforts to make a year’s time pass faster than it was meant to go by. The Vietnam tour was a thing to get over with. No one approached the Vietnam ordeal perceiving it to be an action of salvation and redemption. Everyone knew that the excuse to penetrate violently the sovereignty of Vietnam was just a political smoke screen to induce others to participate in the imperialistic manipulation of a decidedly weaker group of peoples and nations who lacked the ability and force to preserve their own cultures and destinies against intrusion by the two desperate superpower totalitarianisms of this world: defunct respect for the inalienable rights of the individual, and passé deference to the equitable distribution of economic goods.
In Vietnam I lost respect and love for my country. I came face to face with the idea that I had been conned by my own people. I had been lied to over and over again, and in Vietnam this fact became so obvious, I could not tolerate accepting any longer deceptions from my people, from my country. I broke with them emotionally and finally physically. I refuse to accept their lies and untruths. I cannot live in the aura of stupidity and greed which supports so well the aims of a knavish imperialistic capitalism which I was instructed to defend to my death. I feel as if my country is a girlfriend I once loved deeply and then lost: she is dead to me…I wish her well…I have no feeling for her…I want to avoid her.
D1. I have come to know the faces of war veterans whether they be drug-addicted Vietnam vets helping to overthrow the Somoza regime, or World War I and World War II and Korean War castoffs who are drunk in Veteran of Foreign Wars’ beer halls. They all possess the same emptiness. And I do not think their vacuous expressions come from the memories of exploding artillery rounds or 122mm rockets.
I remember ducking mortar and rocket rounds one night in Pleiku, and I believed the display to be quite funny and very thrilling—once cover had been taken! Everyone was out of his mind with excitement during the attack, and we tripped over each other like kids scurrying out of school at the ringing of the three o’clock bell. Not a single individual was hurt, except when some of us fell and scraped our hands and knees running to seek cover in a bunker. A captain even tape-recorded the event—as if he had been on vacation—to send back to his family and friends!
No, the looks of despair emanate from the knowledge of how stupid war is, and the shrewdness that everyone knows it is crass, but will do nothing to stop it. One is induced to enlist under pretenses which do not exist in fact, but which sound logically convincing: as if that is the way things ought to be. And then the worst happens: your family members and your loved ones abet the idiocy.
I know why there are so many drug and alcohol addicts in the armies of the world. These harebrained organizations are so emasculating and unnatural, they are bound to drive anyone to drink who stays long enough under their spells of belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility. This viewpoint which says, ultimately, that there is no basis for any truth, is a state which incites depression and nihilism in turn temporarily assuaged by the abusive use of narcotics and alcoholic beverages. It is amazing to see how high the reliance is on these sham inducements to unreal joy. The armies, the navies, the marine corps, the air forces, all of them, instilling boredom, unfriendliness, emotional instability, loneliness and fear, pave the way to these artificial escapisms. And with such a powerful sense of scepticism for things which are productive and healthy leaning on the crutches of substances that produce addiction or habituation through drugs and alcohol, and affecting so many men and women, one is made to think from where comes the body of persons having a common activity—people: sane, sober, skilful, and secure—to guard, control and protect the arsenal of the thousands of atomic bombs we are told exist to guarantee the survival of democratic principles? Can there be so many thousands of atomic bombs if there are not the thousands of responsible individuals to control them? Do these bombs actually exist? I was trained to launch missiles with nuclear warheads in them, but I never ever saw a nuclear round! (Do you think I exaggerate? My dear readers, my dear political science professors at Harvard and Georgetown, even you! Stanley Hoffman and Henry Kissinger! Swoop down into the nether-nether land of the soldier of the United States Army for two years and wear the fatigues of a private and not swivel in a chair in a Pentagon war office! See for yourselves! Ask to see the thousands of atomic bombs. Study the calibre of men who are entrusted with the national security of the United States of America! Then write about what you think is causing the vanquishment of the spirit of the United States of America. Or do you, too, want to put your feet up on your desks and wait for better days?)
About sexual indoctrination, I have the following mental images:
E. On the second floor of Robinson Hall (a dormitory built with United States’ government funds St. Bonaventure University received for incorporating the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps into its curriculum: a Christian, Roman Catholic/military business deal; the trade also included the luxurious Friary for the school’s Franciscans, and this edifice was affectionately referred to as “The Hilton” by all on campus) there is a select group of individuals who practice anal-hoarding, and graph, competitively, the number of days they go without defecating, and the number of times they must flush the toilet to rid the bowl of their enormous, I suppose, turds. Dino, the present leader of the cultists, has affixed with a magic marker, ceremoniously and with the greatest feeling of pride, “63X!!! 7 March 1964” to the door of the toilet stall where he broke all St. Bonaventure University flushing records heretofore held to dispose of large, constipated stools.
F. I have reported, as I do every week, the number of times I needed to surrender sexual tension the last seven days, and the priest has given me the following penance: I must say a complete rosary for each time (three or four weekly) that I masturbated. And in order to avoid sinning in the future, I must “grab hold of my beads” when “that sensation arises again” and “pray to the Virgin Mary to seek her intercession and special grace to thwart the temptation to commit a grievous, mortal sin.” Lighting a candle—now and then—is also a good idea. I will never enter a confessional again in my lifetime.
G. It is three o’clock Sunday morning, and on the third floor of Fal dormitory, a drunk senior is banging at the door of the 3rd Fal prefect, a young Franciscan monk who is a brilliant philosophy teacher in the process of completing his doctoral dissertation:
“Father, father!!! Help me!”
He acts frantically.
“I have that tingling sensation again.”
He smirks at his friends.
“What must I do?”
He bangs harder at the door.
“Father, can you give me your rosary beads?”
He looks at his friends and covers his mouth to muzzle his laughing.
“I need to pray. The tingling sensation is getting bigger and bigger, and so is my cock!”
He takes out his penis and begins to jerk away in front of his friends. There is no response from within the office of the prefect.
H. I am walking along a section of unused railroad tracks behind the main campus of St. Bonaventure University, and I am with a pretty “townie” high school senior with whom I have been kissing and embracing for the last two hours. It is a beautiful Spring day and the fresh breezes flowing down from The Hearth make it “an almost” sweater afternoon.
In front of us, almost two hundred meters away, two Franciscan monks are promenading our way enjoying the wonderful Seedtime afternoon and the Alleghany mountains. At first I can only make out their brown uniforms which are distinguished by huge white cords jostling against their sides.
In a while I begin to cringe with a gust of anxiety which hits me fine in the intestines and forces me to think hard about the impending meeting between us and the very words I will utter to pay respects to my metaphysics’ teacher—one of the Roman Catholic church’s most important Scotistic philosophers and a William of Ockham expert. An impulse to drop the hand of my girlfriend moves with sudden speed across my mind, but I will not be a traitor to myself or to her.
We meet, I bid an adieu to my philosophy professor and his friend, and then come upon a railroad switching place, where I am reminded that I may take one of two directions: the way to follow in the footsteps of this sparkling representative—also holder of an agrégé from Louvain University—of Roman Catholic philosophy; or, the way to follow in the footsteps of this beautiful, kind, young girl who has given me her attention, her passion, her sense of humor, her friendly smile, her love.
Now to further realities…
E1. The anal-hoarding character is stubborn, orderly, cheap, punctual, obsessively clean, rigid and deficient in ideas and originality. Because they see the world as hostile and dirty, they preserve their mental balance by keeping things at a distance from them, by controlling external events as forcefully as they can, by rejecting that which does not agree with them, and by holding in what they do not want to release so as to please others. Anal-hoarders are fanatic conservers of time and space, seeking order and security in their lives which they feel is victimized and beleaguered by forces which are against them. These characters have no sense that their psyches flow through a series of ups and downs in between which they may collect their strength to prepare to meet more of life’s onslaughts. Anal-hoarders are always safeguarding themselves because they believe their lives may be destroyed at any moment. They persevere to prevent things from going out, and in the process defeat their own purposes, for things rejected physically (feces and other waste products) and mentally (fears and doubts) no longer serve life in the human body and spirit and, eventually, find their departure routes from that which impedes. This personality often crosses into the domain of the perverse impulses of sadism.
I can only speculate why an anal-hoarding cult would come about at St. Bonaventure University. (There were other cults there: military games players, black mass liturgists, athletic specialists, students who studied to attain superior grades, heavy drinkers, and more.) I cannot “prove” that it existed as a result of the Roman Catholic university’s effort to exploit women, but I suspect this. (I remember one Franciscan monk, my world history professor, instructing five girls in our class, whom he had placed in the front row, to “cross your legs and shut the gates of hell.”) I think it would be easy for another researcher to corroborate this theory.
The ratio of men to women was approximately 1:15. A predominantly all-men’s university—or all-women’s university—is an institutional contrivance which can only find existence under the sway of a large force: a religion, a government, a multinat company, or another powerfully influencial entity. That the Roman Catholic church continues even at this writing to institutionalise the separation of the sexes in a highly awakened sexual time, attests to its political strength. Trying to keep “control” of the feminine sex is part of the gargantuan organization’s modus operandi.
Dino was expressing—in a perverted, regressive way—his reaction, his protest, against a larger influence which was emasculating his genital responses in order to perpetuate its depravity. In doing so, he became an exploitative character, who had to manipulate in order to achieve a pleasure he was denied in an abnormal social ambience. Dino’s rebellion found adherents to the cause because so many others shared in its dissent against sexual frustration.
The Roman Catholic church may have had the mission of aborting normal sexual enjoyment at St. Bonaventure University, but beneath the subconsciousnesses of hundreds of men, and a handful of women frightened by a massive, uncontrolled, misdirected sexual energy, emotional beings coped with a life devoid of sexual adeptness, hoped for the day when they would enjoy normal heterosexual relations, and sobbed for St. Bonaventure University’s four years to pass by at which time they would seek with ardour their sexual freedom and prolific sexual experiences.
F1. There are two generally-accepted concepts of guilt: moral guilt and legal guilt. The first derives from the commission of a breach against the ways of conduct which encourage what is commonly considered good; and, the second from the violation of a law which involves a penalty.
But a third, feelings of culpability for imagined offences or from a sense of inadequacy, often tortures minds so persistently the sense of guilt, grossly out of proportion, keeps individuals in a state of constant unhappiness. This phenomena is caused in part by the tension which exists between traditional concepts of conscience and the new which promulgate less complex explanations vis-à-vis the manifold proclivities of psychoanalysis. The remorse for violating God’s law is now defined, generally, as disapproval or punishment in the superego. Yet “modern” psychoanalytic theories acerbate this conflict because superstitious moral ideas (particularly those affecting sexual mores) still hold formidable sway and influence among people who are not aware of psychological fundamentals or even interested in knowing about them. There is a conflict that exists between the two.
While many men and women are burdened by a personal, individual guilt, others, perhaps less affected particularly, share indirectly in a contrived sense of collective guilt. For example: The actions committed by man against God in the Garden of Eden; the notion of man’s original sin; the first sins of man. We are thought all to be sinners; even the saints are tainted slightly with something putrefying.
The principal location of the idea of collective guilt is organized religion, but in many ways other persuasions (patriotisms, corporate behaviour codes, political parties, et cetera) are usurping religion’s tight hold over superstitious morality and are redefining, transposing, and streamlining the knowledge that man desires to expect things from certain acts, that he experiences tension while waiting for these deeds to terminate, and that he can—while delaying in hope of a favourable change—suffer anxiety which in turn precipitates guilt. Whether it is a mother’s admonition to her child who wants to play with his penis, or the soldier’s refusal to participate in the slayings of women and children, the feeling that one has gone against the “herd” induces irrational feelings of blameworthiness and senses of deficiency. These aggregated sentiments of complicity have not their points of reference in anyone or anything particular, but in the concept of the whole of society and the totality of human beings.
While the Roman Catholic church and other religions possess the patent for inducing specious senses of guilt in the individual and organized groups of humans working together, the slow losing of their grips on guilt to social technicians of the totalitarian ilk, offers small consolation. One must not lose sight of the fact that this phenomena is a dangerous entity and is subject to extreme abuse. In all cases, these emotions of guilt have the potential to lead to the victimization of countless numbers of ingenuous individuals. Within the hierarchy of twentieth-century political machinations, the individual is considered both expendable and in need of control for the common good. Nothing substantiates these notions more than the idea that this world is inferior in design compared to a mythically divine world, that men are sinners worthy of punishment, and that happiness cannot be achieved rationally in our own time. The disciples of these assumptions are those among the truly guilty for they abrogate and ignore the challenge of all men to join together in freedom, peace and friendliness in order to build a better life in this world, which according to them, is always destitute of a happiness which can only be found in life after death.
G1. It was often bragged about at St. Bonaventure University that in addition to having, seasonally, a good basketball team, the St. Bonaventure University student body drank consistently a higher percentage of beer than most other universities. In fact, this interesting statistic had been once advertised in a popular men’s entertainment magazine. The sights on the faces of youthful men at brunch Sunday mornings indicated that alcoholism among the young was a serious problem at this “institution of higher learning.”
Yet I suppose that if statistical accounts about masturbation could have been taken, these records would have also revealed another highly used self-gratification to escape the abnormal social ambience established at St. Bonaventure University. And the definite but often vague awareness or impression of guilt which was foisted on these hundreds of frustrated young men and women in favor of the guise of the hypocritical ethical teachings of the Roman Catholic church, caused a high degree of inauspiciousness among individuals seeking a graceful place in this world. This “heroic” distich, found carved in a door of the bathroom closest to Room 235 Devereux, attests to the exasperation and is a comical retort to a morbid way of expanding intellectually and emotionally:
“This is a tepee to do your pee-pee;
Not a wigwam to beat your tomtom.”
I do not suppose that if all men and women at St. Bonaventure University had had access to normal sexual activity, a kind of utopia would have flourished. But I do think there would have been less heavy drinking and a pleasanter atmosphere within which to study and grow more contentedly. The mental and physical age of the undergraduate university student is sensitive and impressionable. To live in an environment of sexual normalcy contributes greatly to the healthy formation of minds and bodies.
The contrary was too much the reality. Scores and scores of young men and women were feeling sensations of in-appropriateness. There was a common consent of sadness. It was as if there was the conviction that in being unhappy one possessed some extreme, important advantage. Depression and long hours of afternoon “escape” sleeps were common. These wretched minds sought rupture from a source more powerful than them, but there was no way they could create their identities unless they rebelled or left St. Bonaventure University. (A high percentage did after freshman year.) The spate of rock throwing against the new administration building on graduation day, 6 June 1966, signalled the intensity of the pent-up hatred which had to find expression even minutes before the university diplomas were handed over, I assume, very grudgingly. Directly under the repressed selves of hundreds of men and women kept social, emotional and intellectual prisoners for four years, there was the knowledge that the manipulative forces of the Roman Catholic church sought not to seek a future of promise for men and women, but hunted, rather, to impinge upon everyone’s freedom—by way of its necrophilic reliance on superstitious morality and erroneous philosophic premises—a controlled servile system. And what is a greater indication of a symptom of perverse influence than the attempted control of a particular person’s sexual activity?
H1. Before I met my metaphysics’ teacher along the railroad tracks holding a girl’s hand, I had enjoyed a satisfying professor-student relationship with an almost legendary Roman Catholic thinker who was also a kind, gentle, and personable man. In my last year at the university, I had under my belt sufficient Philosophy course hours with which to tackle the difficult—probably the most arduous of all philosophic disciplines—metaphysics (ontology). I was fortunate to have an individual well-versed in this difficult subject and his knowledge of it was indeed impressive. Unfortunately, the metaphysics I was to try to digest was metaphysics à la Roman Catholic church.
The chosen book for our course was Jesuit Leo J. Sweeney’s A Metaphysics of Authentic Existentialism. I remember being lead judiciously but remarkably genteelly through the pages of this incredible textbook at which I eventually threw up hands in frustration. The mental effort was formidable, and each class left me drained and perplexed. I resisted passionately my instinct to reject first hand what I did not understand more or less after a second or third reading. If I could not understand what I was studying, why was I studying it? I wanted to dominate this subject. I could not. I feel lucky today that I had the good sense to abandon this mental jigsaw puzzle that was leading me nowhere.
The vocabulary of Roman Catholic metaphysics is implausible. The subject is not a viable discipline. It is constructed on its own jargon, and to master even that special lexis of ambiguous terms is in itself an abnormal task. Roman Catholic church metaphysics is a mysticism, and in the hands of narrow-minded Thomists, it is a barbarous mental indoctrination falling short of denying the existence of God, falling short of dropping off a mystical cliff, and falling short of permitting at least the mental expansion it so tantalisingly encourages.
When I was “caught,” then, in front of my metaphysics’ teacher holding a charming girl’s hand, two incompatibles surged: Roman Catholic church metaphysics and the acceptance of the sexuality of my girlfriend—the second being a rejection of the defenders of the principles of Roman Catholic philosophy. My break with Scholasticism was a break with anti-feminism, and it was an ascetic self-denial of the gullible falsities of the Roman Catholic church. I was on my way to being intellectually free.
About philosophical indoctrination, I have the following mental images:
I. The ecclesiastical law of the Roman Catholic church (Canon 589:1) requires that students for the priesthood study two years of philosophy and four years of theology “following the teaching of St. Thomas.” Further, another (Canon 1366:2) instructs teachers in seminaries to structure their lectures “according to the method, teaching, and principles of the Angelic Doctor.”
Thomas Acquinas (1224-1274) played a daunting part in my Scholastic philosophical training at St. Bonaventure University, and aside from a few intellectual explorations into Scotism and Ockhamism by “rebellious” Franciscan monks who knew very well how far they might proceed, Thomas Acquinas, the reworker of Aristotelianism, in 1966, still defended his control over the interpretation of Roman Catholic philosophy and theology. The famous methodologist of sacred doctrine, after more than seven hundred years of influence, today rules supreme whether through conservative sorting-outs of the Holy Doctor’s dogmas, or “revolutionary,” limp-wrist decipherments of them. The Christian Stagyrite, I was repeatedly told, embodies the “true philosophic way,” and if there was any doubt about his philosophical conceptualisations, he had on his side the dictums of Roman Catholic theology which re-substantiate his questionable precepts of which there are many. Roman Catholic church students of life believe there is no more potent voice in the annals of philosophy, and Acquinas enjoys ex cathedra status.
J. I am in theology class with my fellow students seated alphabetically so the theology professor may count absentees more easily and monitor the three “cuts” each student is allocated before dismissal from the course may be adjudicated. Theology courses are not popular with students at St. Bonaventure University, and a number of them are mandatory for graduation.
The Franciscan friar fidgets with the enormous rosary beads which dangle at his side, attached to his big black belt, and he grins sadistically as he impresses the class with his strictness in keeping attendance. There are frowns and looks of disgust on the faces of most of my classmates.
The priest introduces us to his theology class explaining that the belief in an ever-lasting God who rules the universe and harbors moral communication with all men, is both a theologically and philosophically defensible position.
K. I am in another theology class, Bible Studies, again sandwiched between men and women whose last names begin with letters before and after the first letter of my surname. I am being told that the New Testament, the important historical relic which is one of the bases for all the great Western religions, is totally accurate, is the exact word of God, and is for all men and women to use to help them live a good—naturally Christian—life.
The class is so dull, students regard it as a penalty to pay in order to graduate. The eight o’clock class is usually full in order to get this hardship course over with as quickly as possible. The books we use are insipid and traditional. And within the hearts and minds of bright men and women, there is the frustrating desire to see some continuity between these ancient words and the realities of the “falling apart” world they abide in. It becomes a relief to do away with the “theo” course requirements.
L. I am again “alphabetized” in my cosmology class which is instructed by a nun who is said to have been taught physics by Einstein at Princeton. The petite professor is adorned in a religious habit of black and white, and she galvanizes everyone with her wit and charm. A feisty one she is.
Her philosophic message is this: If we admit to the extraordinariness of things and events in our world, we must acknowledge a being (God) whose reality is absolutely necessary to explain these complexities. There is a mysterium tremendum et fascinans which makes us aware of our “experience.” We feel very intensely about this because our intellect is too weak to take hold of such a grandiose concept. (Her intellect, of course, is not so enfeebled to explain it!) Without a doubt something out there makes us feel humble and groping. We are in awe at our minuteness in the Universe, and what else is there for us to do but submit to the belief that a unifying being (God) orders and controls the balance of our limitedness in a vast sea of space and time. In class my hands often sweat and tremble as I listen to these conjectures. She has put not only the fear of God in me, she has included the cosmoses, too!
Now to more realities…
I1. I acknowledge there is no way to deny Acquinas’s intellectual tour de force in synthesizing Aristotelianism and Christian dogmatic principles. His effort is unique, and his knowledge of Aristotle surpasses most Roman Catholic thinkers who came before him and, too often, after him. His manipulation of Aristotle to fit the dictates of Roman Catholicism has earned Thomas Acquinas a pre-eminence which has forced many Roman Catholic philosophers to submit, often unwillingly, to the power of a traditionalism entrenched in centuries of single-mindedness and uncritical devotion. To venture beyond this “establishment” is both intellectually suicidal and emotionally trying for any Roman Catholic thinker.
But those who do not accept those declarations of Roman Catholic faith which buffet Acquinas’s ambiguousness cornerstoned on a philosophic/theological safety valve of “divine revelation,” have rendered Acquinas philosophically impotent. These thinkers, legion in number, have reduced Acquinas to a philosophical non-entity. Recognizing his brilliant coupling of Aristotle to Roman Catholic dogma, they have pointed critically to his philosophic “cop out” into theology—into the mindless, inconsistent and insincere dogmatism of the Roman Catholic church. For those who wish to dwell thoughtlessly in the trappings of maxims and hocus-pocus “divine realities,” Thomism serves well. For others who desire to forge beyond and seek philosophical truths based on reason and the genuine philosophic spirit of inquiry and fearless analysis of the study of life, Thomism holds out small consolation. I bemoan the fact that Acquinas did not have the intellectual courage of some of the great philosophers, and I deplore the fact that he made so many intellectual genuflections to satisfy the demands of Roman Catholic princes.
J1. I do not believe in a supreme being—even the Easter Bunny—or a good God, for the following reasons:
J1a. From what I see in this world, with all its injustices, evils, and irrationalities, there is more proof that if a supreme being did exist, it would have to be a devil and not a good, just creature. I do not believe in a devil. I believe that the troubles which beset man are caused by man, and that man—given the opportunity to express himself freely and naturally—would choose to lead a simple, rewarding life. Man does not do so because he is ignorant and frustrated. It is not for lack of a God that man is not lead to a happy life. It is because of man. In order to achieve joy in this world, it is for man to pursue his state of happiness on his own initiative and not through the fantastical notion that this possibility will be fulfilled only in a rewarding afterlife of eternal happiness after a brief, but bitter, sentence to despair and suffering. Nothing perpetuates man in a state of unhappiness more than his belief that a state of well-being and contentment in this world is unattainable because it exists in another realm of reality. Man is God.
J1b. There is no god because all things must not be caused by one cause. If a god is the cause of all things, who or what is the cause of a god?
J1c. I do not believe in a god because most people I know do not and they do not show me that they have faith in a god, nor profess—through their actions—that they find comfort in a supreme being who occupies a life in another world where they would be willing to go as quickly as they could. Most people I encounter, happy or not, quest their blithesomeness in this world, they do not wish to die, and they take Cyclopean precautions to extend their lives if they have the means to do so. If there was another domain where eternal happiness dwelt, people would act entirely different on this planet, and they would leave here jumping for joy to enter that kingdom.
J1d. I do not believe in a god because there are no facts to prove his/her existence. I believe in cold winds, headaches, restaurant bills, the need to get up in the morning, work, and the oxygen I breathe. If a god existed, it would be ridiculous to deny that it did. Yet many people deny its existence. They do not deny that Paris exists if they have never visited Paris. A god’s subsistence is not taken for granted just as we take for granted death or the love of another person. If a god existed, there would be absolutely no doubt about it—as there is no doubt about the largeness of the Atlantic Ocean which is incomprehensible to most. A god “exists” in the same way Santa Claus or witches or UFOs
or the Easter Bunny “exist.” We look for them, but we never come upon them even unexpectedly. We want the spontaneity of invented fantasies. (For children, this might be good.) We want God; but, He does not exist. We once needed God to explain the reasons for night and day, to define our limits in an unknown world, to give reason for our fears and loneliness, and to justify our indiscriminate entrance into a world whose rules and regulations will decide our haphazard departure. All of these matters are now better explained without any reference to God, and the abracadabra of the supernatural. Each day we find more reason to believe in the naturalness of our Earth and the elements that surround it. Before, we could only speculate and we contrived reasons which we thought had to be beyond our own understanding. I am happy to know my life is controlled, for the most part, by forces I know have their bases in reality and fact, and not in causes which I must accept are outside the limitations of my reason and understanding. And I know each day brings me closer to knowing more about my world and myself.
K1. I enjoy reading the Bible and its plethora of moral homilies and short, pithy statements which are both enjoyable and helpful in living a good, sensible life. Of course, not all sayings of the Bible are intelligent and propitious, but these make some sort of sense when taken in the contexts of the times the “sacred” scriptures were written. The Bible is a marvellous inventive prose narrative, and the King James version, in particular, is well-finished literarily.
Now to attest that the Bible is the word of some supreme being is ludicrous and inopportune. The Bible reflects keen insight and much wisdom, and it is a credit to its innovators that they sought so cleverly to devise a master work whose theme converged to profess not only that one God exists, that a religion with faith in a God without a name is the best type of religion, and that the notion—that all men may be joined someday in a “happy hunting ground” of peace and eternal joy—is a viable alternative to the frustrations and confusions of a life wallowing in “sin and unhappiness.” This is tremendous fiction. Prevarication at its best. The Bible sells well. There are bibles for Islamics, for Roman Catholics, for Protestants, for Jews. Nevertheless, few religious adherents read these texts. All of the works lead individuals who read them along a primrose path of hope in an eternal life much the way cheap novels lead lonely hearts to believe that romantic love is the silver lining of that dark cloud which hovers over the desperateness of people without affection and tenderness.
The Bible is a literary placebo given to millions of people to assuage their feelings of psychological separateness. It is time we value the Bible for what it is: a compilation of wise and unwise sayings written by men over the centuries during which time the experiences of life seemed consistent, during which time wise men accumulated wisdom, and during which time intelligent individuals began to proscribe axiomatic expressions about their relation to an unknown world beginning to teem with explanation.
L1. My cosmology “teacher” was not the first runt of a nun to frighten me with the awesomeness of the eerie, but she was the first to do so with ideas of science. The impression—once so terrifying to me—that I fit so minutely in a system so complex it had to be invented by a supreme being (my cosmology teacher’s Roman Catholic god), fits well with the Roman Catholic church’s penchant to instil fear and guilt in the hearts and minds of millions of people in this world. Guilt! Such an effective control device! But just as psychoanalysis emptied, finally, the confessional boxes, I am assured that meteorology, oceanography, geophysics, seismology, planetology, and other pure sciences will descend on all churches throughout the world and close their shrines of foolhardiness and false notions.
It is estimated that our Earth began 5,000,000,000 years ago when the Solar System was formed from a cloud of dust and gas in interstellar space. The Earth, our Earth, orbits around our Galaxy which is one of millions of other galaxies in the Universe. Each day more information is accrued to define our place in the Universe. Stout-hearted men venture beyond our planet to secure more technical data. These men and women are not impeded by worries which would shackle them to Earth with millions of other individuals—content with their religions—believing that the profoundness of our physical position in this world lends itself to the need to genuflect before a supreme being. No, gratefully, these folks press for scientific realities, and find strength in their rationality and unwavering respect for the potential of the individual to understand and grow in intelligence. These persons reject supernatural trappings, and they look to the cause of things. They do not stumble into
the abyss of closed-mindedness and nihilism—contrary to that which is progressive, variable.
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We are finished, my dear reader. Have I delighted you? Have I enlightened you? I would be pleased to know that I did. As I review this essay, I feel that perhaps I have not expressed enough the anguish and uncertainties which for so long have tortured my psyche often so full of militaristic, sexual, and philosophical lies. My heart has pounded many long hours under this stress, my hands have sweated many days with these tensions, my mind has endured many sleepless nights with depressed thoughts and beliefs. Believe me when I tell you it was difficult for me to live in a Roman Catholic gulag.
I must leave you now to follow my convictions which cry out for superior actions. I cannot advise you what to do, but I will tell you what I am going to do. My responsibility and yours are great, indeed.
Firstly, I formally renounce my belief in God and the Roman Catholic church’s idea that it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. I respectfully excommunicate myself from this daft organization.
Secondly, I present this composition to the Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in Caracas, Venezuela to inform Soviet officials that just as there are concentration camps in Siberia surrounding people with barbed wires, there are gulags of educational indoctrination, gulags of unemployment lines, gulags of racial discrimination, gulags of waste and inflation and deflation, gulags of pleasure-seeking, gulags of drug and alcohol dependence, gulags of mass media control, gulags of obsessive life styles, gulags of boredom, gulags of management control, gulags of unhappy marriages based on obsolete moral ideas, and gulags and gulags and gulags à la United States of America. These gulags are not designed with fences with twisted wires armed with barbs and sharp points, but they are distinguished by the barbwires of fear, moral superstition, and the “great” falsehood that something or someone beyond the limits of our own reason and nature gives us cause and manipulates us.
I present this article to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to dispel political hypocrisy, and I wish that it will help in the building of a bridge over which both Soviet and Northamerican might walk to eventually join each other in an embrace of goodwill and friendship. I wish that all people might enjoy their lives in a spirit of generosity, lucidity, and freedom.
Anthony St. John
Sabana Grande 1051
23 August 1981
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Since my “release” from St. Bonaventure University on 5 June 1966 and the writing of this essay which was presented to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ embassy in Venezuela on 23 August 1981 and the excursus you, my dear reader, are now reading in 2003, the Roman Catholic church has received so many blows and from so many sides, I cannot believe that it will ever recuperate enough to regain its top position in the ratings as the Number One World Church—a standing it had benefited from for centuries. The damage it has brought upon itself has been almost fatal.
There is not a diocese in the world which has no difficulty in recruiting men and women to serve as priests and nuns. There is not a Roman Catholic teaching institution in the world that has not been constrained to assume lay personnel to carry on its efforts. There is not a Roman Catholic hospital in the world that has not been forced to rely on the laity to administer its services.
In Italy Roman Catholic churches, neglected and un-nurtured by parishioners, are falling down. Non-visited confessionals are used to stock brooms and cleaning paraphernalia and other church supplies often gone unused. Some Italian mothers and fathers decry their Present wishing that commanding priests and nuns of the Past existed once again so that those clerics could beat their spoiled children into a Roman Catholic obsequiousness instead of seeing them waste away in states of boredom, unemployment and highs brought on by legal and illegal drugs.
The air is filled with hopelessness. One Italian racist of world renown, Oriana Fallaci, filled with rancor and frustration, from her mid-town New York apartment, is calling to arms complacent Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish Roman Catholics cautioning them that their very lives are in danger from an Islamic invasion! Beating her pots and pans, she is demanding that Roman Catholic spineless men, many of them in their 60s, 70s and 80s and dying to know from where their pensions are to come in the very near future, form a sort of New Crusade to do battle against those she calls heathens! This is only one of the many pathetic overtures un-embarrassingly proffered to salvage the smacks of the European Past sucked upon incessantly by neo-Fascists and “neo-Liberalists” in their reckless endeavour to reign supreme throughout the continent during one of the world’s most trying times. (Do you smell Opus Dei-like machinations here? I do! [Opus Dei is a secret organization of Roman Catholic oligarchs across the world one member of which is Giovanni Trapattoni, coach of the Italian national football team, who sprinkled holy water on the football pitches in Asia—seeking divine intervention—before his encounters with opposing teams! According to Central Intelligence Agency (The World Factbook) figures, an almost whopping 70% of the populations of the eight European countries, who offered their blessings and lighted candles to the United States of America in support of its intention to wage war with Iraq, is Roman Catholic!]) Fallaci knows very well that it will be United States’ troops, hoodwinked and blackmailed by Europe’s nauseating history and the ghosts of its sordid Past, who will shed their blood to prop up corrupt, heathen Vatican, Inc. cardinals in their positions of economic supremacy, who will protect empty, cob-webbed Roman Catholic churches, and who will give more entrée to the Roman Catholic church to avail of Time to let its sins slip into the Past denying all the while, naturally, that the Roman Catholic church’s pedophilia scandal—like The Inquisition—is as stupefying as one might imagine! Fallaci, a most dangerous cryptic-religious demagogue, not only feeds very well the fires of hate and intolerance against Islamic peoples, she serves up to us also—with her invective and disdain for others of different races or religions—the extreme anxiety of the Roman Catholic church in decline, in enormous difficulty.
Other events bear me out. In Southamerica, once considered a bastion of the Roman Catholic faith, NEITHER CHRIST, NOR MARX signs are inked defiantly on corporate and embassy walls throughout the continent. Southamerican bishops and cardinals, pals of dictators and bank presidents and television executives, have left poor Southamericans to wallow by themselves in their gruesome living conditions while the churchmen collude with oligarchies girded by bribes offered by multinational corporations which, in turn, are braced up by the United States’ Department of State and other self-seeking maverick economic interests (Opus Dei) spread throughout the world.
It is not history or the weak flesh of the Roman Catholic church that will eventually do it in. The final punch to the guts of the Roman Catholic church will come from Science and what It will do to eradicate the potentate’s superstitions and false precepts. (The time will come when Bill Gates will change water into wine!) Already, Science is on the move. For example, if we examine the history of the birth control pill, we see immediately how much “faith” Roman Catholics have in their church once a sensible—always controversial according to church princes—product is produced to help individuals lead a more rewarding life. The Pill has served very well to threaten the authority of the church fathers who are always contrary to new scientific investigations and studies—those realities which challenge their dogmatic proclamations. Science will pull the rug out from under the Roman Catholic church. It will show that there is hope for us. It will show that ancient church concepts were based on fear and the impetuosity to understand. It will also give a warning to the Roman Catholic church that it no longer has carte blanche to terrify its members into submission or to crash through the line with its wealth garnered from tax-free properties and stock portfolios filled with equities that remain anonymous to Roman Catholic parishioners who were the ones who at first supplied the funds to purchase them—Roman Catholic, blessed nest eggs which would be used to silence victims of priestly sex offenders in preference to bringing them to Justice in non-Roman Catholic courts.
Anthony St. John
Casella Postale 38
50041 CALENZANO FI
31 January 2003
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